The Health Benefits of Coffee
Your morning java may provide some health benefits that go beyond helping you get out of bed. Research has shown there are many health benefits of drinking coffee, from protecting against type 2 diabetes, liver disease and Parkinson’s disease to promoting heart health and recovering from a hard workout. Learn more about the health benefits of coffee.
Coffee and Diabetes
Coffee may help protect against type 2 diabetes. Research has found that people who increased their coffee intake by more than one cup a day lowered their risk of getting diabetes by 11% compared with people who did not alter their daily consumption.
Coffee and Parkinson’s
The caffeine in coffee may help Parkinson’s patients have more control over their body movements. Another study found that higher caffeine and coffee consumption is associated with a significantly lower occurrence of Parkinson’s disease.
(Image credit https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-graphs-that-convince-you-to-drink-more-coffee)
Coffee and Liver Disease
Drinking coffee may lower the incidence of cirrhosis of the liver, especially for alcohol drinkers. The ingredients in coffee help protect the liver from cirrhosis according to another study. Decaf coffee has been linked to lower liver enzyme levels, which suggests that the benefits of coffee are not necessarily related to caffeine content.
Coffee and Heart Health
Moderate amounts of coffee may protect against heart failure. People who drank coffee every day had a lower risk of heart failure compared to those who did not drink coffee.
Coffee and Premature Death
One new study shows that consuming coffee may reduce the risk of premature death, even for those people who drank decaf coffee. Other studies from Japan, Europe and America showed a lower risk of death from disease. The overall findings were that coffee drinkers live longer than non-coffee drinkers.
Coffee and Multiple Sclerosis
New research indicates that the caffeine in coffee provides a neuroprotective and anti-inflammatory effect that may lower the risk of developing Multiple Sclerosis (MS).
Coffee and Alzheimer’s
There is considerable evidence that points to the caffeine in coffee helping to protect against Alzheimer’s disease. (Image credit https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/6-graphs-that-convince-you-to-drink-more-coffee)
Coffee and Colorectal Cancer
Researchers have discovered that drinking coffee every day may lower the risk of colorectal cancer, and it even applies to decaf coffee drinkers.
Coffee and Pain
One study found that drinking a cup of coffee after a workout can significantly reduce muscle pain.
Coffee and Fiber
There is fiber in coffee. One cup of brewed coffee contributes 1.8 grams of fiber to your diet.
Coffee and Depression
One long-term study showed a reduced risk of suicide in women who drink coffee. Women who drink coffee are also less likely to suffer from depression.
Coffee and DNA
Researchers found that coffee drinkers have stronger DNA integrity because their white blood cells are less likely to encounter spontaneous DNA strand breakage.
Coffee and Liver Cancer
There is new research that shows coffee drinkers have a reduced risk of developing liver cancer.
Coffee and Gout
In men, the risk of developing gout is decreased by the increase of coffee consumption.
Coffee and Retinal Damage
One study showed that coffee may prevent retinal damage caused by oxidative stress. It wasn’t the caffeine, but it was the CLA (chlorogenic acid) which is a strong antioxidant found in coffee beans.
Coffee and Cavities
Research discovered that strong black coffee kills the bacteria that leads to tooth decay. Note that this study is for black coffee. Adding milk or sugar removed this benefit.
Coffee and Periodontal Disease
A 30-year study concluded that coffee did not promote gum disease, and it actually had a protective benefit against periodontal disease.
Coffee and Melanoma
One published study found that the risk of melanoma is decreased with coffee consumption, and the risk decreases further with each additional cup.
Coffee and Overall Health
The USDA’s dietary guidelines recommend drinking coffee for better health. Daily coffee consumption contributes to overall health and reduces the risk of disease. However, adding cream, sugar or flavored creamers takes away these potential health benefits.
Coffee and Antioxidants
Antioxidants are naturally occurring in the coffee bean, and it is these antioxidants that play a significant role in promoting health. One serving of coffee contains more antioxidants than one serving of grape juice, raspberries and blueberries. Antioxidants reduce inflammation, which is the primary cause of many diseases.
Caffeinated vs. Decaffeinated Coffee
There are many health benefits to drinking decaf coffee, however, most of the studies showed that caffeinated coffee had the greatest benefit. The reason is because the decaffeination process removes many of the antioxidants.
The Bottom Line
The general consensus among all the researchers is that 2-3 cups of coffee per day provides the most health benefits. Moderation is always a consideration because it balances the health benefits of coffee with the potential negative effects associated with too much caffeine.